Friday, December 19, 2014
1012 C Street  •  Floresville, TX 78114  •  Phone: 830-216-4519  •  Fax: 830-393-3219  • 

WCN Site Search


Lost & Found

Found: Young black male Lab mix in the Cimarron Subdivision, Floresville. 210-237-8777.
Lost: Pit Bull, red/white female, off 319 and Hidden Deer in La Vernia, no collar, sores on front legs from allergies. 210-310-4458.

VideoMissing: Kitten from Eagle Creek Subdivision, 9-month-old female, answers to "Sassy," 4-year-old daughter is heartbroken and we greatly miss her. 985-414-8385.
More Lost & Found ads ›

Help Wanted

Experienced Backhoe Operator with CDL needed. Apply in person or online at www.swatconstruction.com or call 830-393-9405 for more information.
Oil Field Lease Service field supervisors needed, must have knowledge of all areas of oil field maintenance, tank battery, compressor, etc.; hook-ups; must supervise crew and develop relationships with company men. Call 361-436-6909.
More Help Wanted ads ›

Featured Videos





Video Vault ›

Savvy Senior


Medicare covers your eyes




E-Mail this Story to a Friend
Print this Story

Disclaimer:
Jim Miller is responsible for this content, which is not edited by the Wilson County News or wilsoncountynews.com.
Jim Miller
April 30, 2014 | 1,192 views | Post a comment

Dear Savvy Senior,

What does Medicare cover when it comes to eye care? I currently have good vision insurance through my employer but will lose it when I retire.

Looking Ahead

Dear Looking,

Many retirees are unclear with what Medicare does and doesn’t cover when it comes to eye care. The good news is that Medicare covers most medical issues like cataract surgery, treatment of eye diseases, and medical emergencies. But unfortunately, routine care like eye exams and eyeglasses are usually the beneficiary’s responsibility.

Here’s a breakdown of how original Medicare covers your eyes, along with some tips that can help you reduce your out-of-pocket costs.

Exams: Routine eye exams (sometimes called “eye refractions”) that test for eyeglasses or contact lenses are usually not covered under Medicare, but you are entitled to a yearly medical eye exam if you have diabetes or are at high risk for glaucoma. People at high risk include diabetics, those with a family history of glaucoma, and older Hispanics and African-Americans.

Medicare will also pay for exams to test and treat medical eye diseases and other problems like macular degeneration, dry eye syndrome, eye infections, or if you get something in your eye.

Eyeglasses and contact lenses: Medicare does not pay for eyeglasses or contact lenses, with one exception: If you have had a conventional intraocular lens inserted during cataract surgery, Medicare will pay for eyeglasses or contact lenses following the operation. Otherwise, you are on your own.

To find affordable eye exams or eyeglasses, many retailers provide discounts -- between 10 and 30 percent -- if you belong to a membership group like AARP or AAA.

Also consider Costco Optical, which is considered by Consumer Reports as the best discount store for good eyewear and low prices -- it requires a $55 membership fee. Walmart Vision Centers and For Eyes Optical offer low prices too with no required membership.

You can also save big by buying your glasses online. Some online stores like zennioptical.com, goggles4u.com and eyebuydirect.com sell prescription eyeglasses for as little as $7. To purchase glasses online you’ll need your prescription and pupillary distance from an exam, and your frame size.

Eye surgeries: Medicare covers most eye surgeries including cataract surgery to remove cataracts and insert standard intraocular lenses to replace your own. Medicare will not, however, pick up the extra cost if you choose a specialized lens that restores full range of vision, thereby reducing your need for glasses after cataract surgery. The extra cost for a specialized lens can run up to $2,500 per eye.

Eye surgeries that are not covered by Medicare include refractive surgery and cosmetic eye surgery (such as eyelid surgery) that are not considered medically necessary.

Supplemental Insurance

Keep in mind that of the medical eye care services that are covered by Medicare, you’re still responsible for 20 percent of the cost -- Medicare pays the other 80 percent. To help with this out-of-pocket expense, you may want to consider getting a Medigap supplemental policy.

If you can’t afford Medigap insurance, check into EyeCare America at eyecareamerica.org. This is a national program that provides medical eye examinations to seniors, age 65 and older, and up to one year of treatment at no cost.

Advantage Option

Another way you can get extra vision coverage when you join Medicare is to choose a Medicare Advantage plan instead of original Medicare. Many of these plans -- which are sold through private insurance companies (see medicare.gov/find-a-plan) -- cover routine eye care and eyeglasses along with dental, hearing, and prescription drugs, in addition to all of your hospital and medical insurance.

Or, if you choose original Medicare, consider purchasing an individual vision insurance policy (see ehealthinsurance.com). These policies cover routine eye care and eyeglasses and typically run between $12 and $15 per month.

Jim Miller is a contributor to the NBC “Today” show and author of The Savvy Senior. Send your senior questions to: Savvy Senior, P.O. Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070, or visit SavvySenior.org.
 
« Previous Blog Entry (April 23, 2014)
 


Your Opinions and Comments

Be the first to comment on this story!

You must be logged in to post comments:



Other Savvy Senior

Resource Links savvy senior
Savvy Senior blog bio side
Chester WilsonBlue Moon Karaoke & DJTriple R DC ExpertsAllstate & McBride RealtyVoncille Bielefeld homeHeavenly Touch homeEast Central Driving School

  Copyright © 2007-2014 Wilson County News. All rights reserved. Web development by Drewa Designs.